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Blake speeding up for World Champs ticket

Keisha Hill, Staff Reporter

Jamaican sprinter and world junior bronze medallist, Yohan Blake, says he stands a good chance of representing Jamaica at the World Championships scheduled for Berlin, Germany, in August.

The 19-year-old, who has made the transition from high school athletics into the international circuit, says if he makes the trials and places in the top four, then he will be considered for the team.

"My chances are good. I will just have to keep on doing what I have been doing throughout the season," Blake said.

"I have been doing some good times with the big guys and I'm looking forward to the experience of going through the rounds to make it into the finals," he said.

Blake, who holds the national junior record for the 100 metres, is the fastest Jamaican junior sprinter over 100m with a time of 10.11 seconds.

record-breaking runs

The record was set at the Carifta Games in the Turks and Caicos Islands, where he also won the 200 metres and led his team to record-breaking runs in the 4x400 and 4x100 metres relays.

His time has improved this season as he clocked a personal best of 10.07 in the 100m and 20.60 in the 200m.

"I want to go on the European circuit and get some more experience and next year I can take it to a higher level," the former St Jago athlete said.

Blake won the 100 metres "B" race at the Reebok Grand Prix last week Saturday in 10.20 seconds, beating Alonso Edward of Panama 10.22 and Derrick Atkins of The Bahamas, 10.23.

Glen Mills, coach of the budding track star, said that this being Blake's first year on the international level, his current programme is specifically designed to get him through the transition, enabling him to compete both physically and mentally.

"If he makes the World Championship team, it would be a bonus. But we believe that the process of transition from school to professional running takes time. Our objective is not to force him," Mills said.

The veteran, who is also Jamaica's senior team head coach, said Blake will have to learn to master the basics and then take it form there.

"He is just 19 and has many World Championships ahead of him. He is learning and I think he is doing fairly well and we are pleased with his progress to date," added Mills.